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A JPS Guide
This new volume in the JPS Guides series is a fiction reader’s dream: a guide to 125 remarkable works of fiction. The selection includes a wide range of classic American Jewish novels and story collections, from 1867 to the present, selected by the author in consultation with a panel of literary scholars and book industry professionals. Roth, Mailer, Kellerman, Chabon, Ozick, Heller, and dozens of other celebrated writers are here, with their most notable works. Each entry includes a book summary, with historical context and background on the author. Suggestions for further reading point to other books that match readers’ interests and favorite writers. And the introduction is a fascinating exploration of the history of and important themes in American Jewish Fiction, illustrating how Jewish writing in the U.S. has been in constant dialogue with popular entertainment and intellectual life. Included in this guide are lists of book award winners; recommended anthologies; title, author, and subject indexes; and more.
Vol. 84 (1996) through current issue
American Jewish History is the official publication of the American Jewish Historical Society, the oldest national ethnic historical organization in the United States. The most widely recognized journal in its field, AJH focuses on every aspect ofthe American Jewish experience. Founded in 1892 as Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, AJH has been the journal of record in American Jewish history for over a century, bringing readers all the richness and complexity of Jewish life in America through carefully researched, thoroughly accessible articles.
Race, Ethnicity, and the Civic Culture
Do recent changes in American law and politics mean that our national motto -- e pluribus unum -- is at last becoming a reality? Lawrence H. Fuchs searches for answers to this question by examining the historical patterns of American ethnicity and the ways in which a national political culture has evolved to accommodate ethnic diversity. Fuchs looks first at white European immigrants, showing how most of them and especially their children became part of a unifying political culture. He also describes the ways in which systems of coercive pluralism kept persons of color from fully participating in the civic culture. He documents the dismantling of those systems and the emergence of a more inclusive and stronger civic culture in which voluntary pluralism flourishes.
In comparing past patterns of ethnicity in America with those of today, Fuchs finds reasons for optimism. Diversity itself has become a unifying principle, and Americans now celebrate ethnicity. One encouraging result is the acculturation of recent immigrants from Third World countries. But Fuchs also examines the tough issues of racial and ethnic conflict and the problems of the ethno-underclass, the new outsiders. The American Kaleidoscope ends with a searching analysis of public policies that protect individual rights and enable ethnic diversity to prosper.
Because of his lifelong involvement with issues of race relations and ethnicity, Lawrence H. Fuchs is singularly qualified to write on a grand scale about the interdependence in the United States of the unum and the pluribus. His book helps to clarify some difficult issues that policymakers will surely face in the future, such as those dealing with immigration, language, and affirmative action.
Garland, Norris, Dreiser, Wharton, and Cather
Otherwise known for their progressive social values, Hamlin Garland, Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather all also expressed strong anti-Semitic prejudices throughout their fiction, essays, letters, and other writings, producing a contradiction in American literary history that has stymied scholars and, until now, gone largely unexamined. In this breakthrough study, Donald Pizer confronts this disconcerting strain of anti-Semitism pervading American letters and culture, showing how these writers' racist impulses represented more than just personal biases, but resonated with larger social and ideological movements within American culture, including such various movements as the western farmers' populist revolt and the East Coast patricians' revulsion against immigration.
Vol. 48 (1996) through current issue
American Quarterly represents innovative interdisciplinary scholarship that engages with key issues in American Studies. The journal publishes essays that examine American societies and cultures, past and present, in global and local contexts. This includes work that contributes to our understanding of the United States in its diversity, its relations with its hemispheric neighbors, and its impact on world politics and culture. Through the publication of reviews of books, exhibitions, and diverse media, the journal seeks to make available the broad range of emergent approaches to American Studies.
The only comprehensive and up-to-date look at Reform Judaism, this book analyzes the forces currently challenging the Reform movement, now the largest Jewish denomination in the United States.
To distinguish itself from Orthodox and Conservative Judaism, the Reform movement tries to be an egalitarian, open, and innovative version of the faith true to the spirit of the tradition but nonetheless fully compatible with modern secular life. Promoting itself in this way, Reform Judaism has been tremendously successful in recruiting a variety of people—intermarried families, feminists, gays and lesbians, and interracial families among others—who resist more traditional forms of worship.
As an unintended result of this success, the movement now struggles with an identity crisis brought on by its liberal theology, which teaches that each Jew is free to practice Judaism more or less as he or she pleases. In the absence of the authority that comes from a theology based on a commanding, all-powerful God, can Reform Judaism continue to thrive? Can it be broadly inclusive and still be uniquely and authentically Jewish?
Taking this question as his point of departure, Dana Evan Kaplan provides a broad overview of the American Reform movement and its history, theology, and politics. He then takes a hard look at the challenges the movement faces as it attempts to reinvent itself in the new millennium. In so doing, Kaplan gives the reader a sense of where Reform Judaism has come from, where it stands on the major issues, and where it may be going.
Addressing the issues that have confronted the movement—including the ordination of women, acceptance of homosexuality, the problem of assimilation, the question of rabbinic officiation at intermarriages, the struggle for acceptance in Israel, and Jewish education and others—Kaplan sheds light on the connection between Reform ideology and cultural realities. He unflinchingly, yet optimistically, assesses the movement’s future and cautions that stormy weather may be ahead.
Canadians long have engaged in in-depth, wide-ranging discussions about their nation's relations with the United States. On the other hand, American citizens usually have been satisfied to accept a series of unexamined myths about their country's unchanging, benign partnership with the "neighbor to the north". Although such perceptions of uninterrupted, friendly relations with Canada may dominate American popular opinion, not to mention discussions in many American scholarly and political circles, they should not, according to Stewart, form the bases for long-term U.S. international economic, political, and cultural relations with Canada. Stewart describes and analyzes the evolution of U.S. policymaking and U.S. policy thinking toward Canada, from the tense and confrontational post-Revolutionary years to the signing of the Free Trade Agreement in 1988, to discover if there are any permanent characteristics of American policies and attitudes with respect to Canada. American policymakers were concerned for much of the period before World War II with Canada's role in the British empire, often regarded as threatening, or at least troubling, to developing U.S. hegemony in North America and even, in the late nineteenth century, to U.S. trade across the Pacific. A permanent goal of U.S. policymakers was to disengage Canada from that empire. They also thought that Canada's natural geographic and economic orientation was southward to the U.S., and policymakers were critical of Canadian efforts to construct an east- west economy. The Free Trade Agreement of 1988 which prepared the way for north-south lines of economic force, in this context, had been an objective of U.S. foreign policy since the founding of the republic in 1776. At the same time, however, these deep-seated U.S. goals were often undermined by domestic lobbies and political factors within the U.S., most evidently during the era of high tariffs from the 1860s to the 1930s when U.S. tariff policies actually encouraged a separate, imperially-backed economic and cultural direction in Canada. When the dramatic shift toward integration in trade, investment, defense and even popular culture began to take hold in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s in the wake of the Depression and World War II, American policymakers viewed themselves as working in harmony with underlying, "natural" converging economic, political and cultural trends recognized and accepted by their Canadian counterparts.
Testimony of a Thousand Witnesses
Compiled by a prominent abolitionist Theodore Dwight Weld, ###American Slavery As It Is# combines information taken from witnesses, and from active and former slave owners, to generate a condemnation of slavery from both those who observed it and those who perpetuated it. The narrative describes the appalling day-to-day conditions of the over 2,700,000 men, women and children in slavery in the United States. Weld demonstrates how even prisoners--in the United States and in other countries--were significantly better fed than American slaves. Readers will find one of the most meticulous records of slave life available in this text. Unlike personal slave narratives, which focus on a single man or woman's experience, ###American Slavery# details the overall conditions of slaves across multiple states and several years.
Abolition, Immigrant Citizenship, and the Transatlantic Movement for Irish Repeal
Irish Americans who supported the movement for the repeal of the act of parliamentary union between Ireland and Great Britain during the early 1840s encountered controversy over the issue of American slavery. Encouraged by abolitionists on both sides of the Atlantic, repeal leader Daniel O’Connell often spoke against slavery, issuing appeals for Irish Americans to join the antislavery cause. With each speech, American repeal associations debated the proper response to such sentiments and often chose not to support abolition. In American Slavery, Irish Freedom, Angela F. Murphy examines the interactions among abolitionists, Irish nationalists, and American citizens as the issues of slavery and abolition complicated the first transatlantic movement for Irish independence. The call of Old World loyalties, perceived duties of American citizenship, and regional devotions collided for these Irish Americans as the slavery issue intertwined with their efforts on behalf of their homeland. By looking at the makeup and rhetoric of the American repeal associations, the pressures on Irish Americans applied by both abolitionists and American nativists, and the domestic and transatlantic political situation that helped to define the repealers’ response to antislavery appeals, Murphy investigates and explains why many Irish Americans did not support abolitionism. Murphy refutes theories that Irish immigrants rejected the abolition movement primarily for reasons of religion, political affiliation, ethnicity, or the desire to assert a white racial identity. Instead, she suggests, their position emerged from Irish Americans’ intention to assert their loyalty toward their new republic during what was for them a very uncertain time. The first book-length study of the Irish repeal movement in the United States, American Slavery, Irish Freedom conveys the dilemmas that Irish Americans grappled with as they negotiated their identity and adapted to the duties of citizenship within a slaveholding republic, shedding new light on the societal pressures they faced as the values of that new republic underwent tremendous change.